Well, I’m still dreaming of a white Christmas, so I thought I’d post some pictures of snow 😉 These are actually pictures of the first fruits of my pottery from winter 2014. After Heidi passed, I needed to work with my hands. I love to work with my hands. I especially needed to work when my hands were empty. Kneading, pulling, pressing, shaping clay became my therapy. It was work I could throw myself into in order to understand myself better, understand my Maker better.
…O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are the Potter; we are all the work of your hand. -Isaiah 64:8
For years I’d claimed as a life motto that I was clay in God’s hands, that I was being shaped by Him for a good purpose, that I was vessel of His own design. I’d never needed more to have tangible interaction with that deep spiritual meaning than when my identity as a mother changed in an instant. Instead of feeling abandoned by the Divine Potter, I felt repurposed. It seemed He was changing the purpose of me, the vessel that I am, for something I didn’t understand. To be honest, I still struggle to be moldable clay in His hands, to be supple and not dry, to be whole and not cracked.
The beauty is, He already knows what He’s doing and He’s a good Potter. He’s good at what He does. So I can trust His hands to be steady and capable, gentle and firm.
I’ve discovered that throwing clay on the wheel is much harder than it looks! It requires a great deal of patience and refined skill. There’s just something about coating my hands in mud, pounding the globs of it, getting elbow deep in water and clay that keeps pulling me back in. It all helps me understand the process of being made by the Creator.
Obviously, I haven’t been making pottery for very long. In the midst of my grief, my second pregnancy, moving three times in two months, unpacking boxes, traveling to the west coast, having a baby, living at the hospital for weeks, I somewhere found time to do a little bit of pottery. So, most of my work is pretty awkward and disjointed. I mean, if you can distinguish that something’s a bowl or a jar then I’m doing pretty well at this point.
Such is the process of being clay in the hands of the Potter. The wheel of life keeps spinning and we keep forming. It can be awkward and sloppy and tedious. But the earthen vessel is of eternal worth and what the Potter loves He tenderly shapes.
…we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God… -2 Corinthians 4:7